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Friday, September 23, 2011

Combining The Blogs

I have decided to combine my two blogs now that my focus in life has changed.

Dust Bunnies of the Mind and Recipe Junkie will be merged. Recipe Junkie will still be up, and I will crosspost those articles that have recipe blog relevance. I expect to be tweaking the format of this blog as well.

I'll still occasionally bloviate on line about random thoughts and my pet peeves and try to avoid political brain farts.

What Did I Do Today

Now that I'm retired, what in the world do you do all day long. I've been busier than ever. What did I do today?

Dear Diary

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chemo Hat

I have a dear friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a terrible thing. OK...all cancer is a terrible thing. Breast cancer is especially terrible. First, you have your breasts amputated. For many women (and their husbands) breasts are a part of your sexuality and a source of sexual pleasure. Part of the image of who you are as a woman.

Next. A year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments to try to kill the rest of the cancer. As a result my friend will lose her hair. Fortunately, she is a strong willed person with a positive attitude and has a supportive and loving husband. I feel confident that she will make it through this and pray for her recovery.

To help in a tangible way (as prayers are intangible), I have made a hat for her. Chemo hats need to be soft and without seams.

I used the pattern from this web site: Confessions of a Maniacal Thrower

Made with a soft merino, cashmere blend from Cascade Yarns. Cash Vero. It was a pleasure to knit with. Soft and buttery. And ended up with a lovely hat.

Everything Old is New Again

UPDATE:  January 18/2015
Sue Doran has given us a link in the comments to where the pattern for the shawl shown below can be obtained.

She is our hero.  I've looked and looked and decided that my pattern must have been one  lost in a flood a few years ago and where my boxes of patterns got soaked.   Check out the link on Etsy.  We bow to Sue

Knitting has suddenly become a revived craft. Everywhere you go, you see women and young girls knitting. Scarves, fingerless gloves, hats, sweaters. Knitting has become a cool and hip thing to do.

Well, it seems that everything old is new again. We are going through a resurgence of crafting. Knitting, sewing, quilting. Just look at the magazines and see the numbers of specialty publications

I credit the economy. When times are hard, people become thrifty and resourceful. Reviewing my collection of craft magazines from the 60's through the 90's, I can see that everything old IS new again.

I learned to knit from my Grandmother back in the early 60's as a pre-teen. The Hippie culture (n which I was briefly immersed) prized homemade and handicrafts. The Carter years brought austerity, stagflation, unemployment, high costs and crafting became even more mainstream. Of course all the Grannies who learned to be thrifty during the Great Depression already had the skills. Nothing new for them however, the young generation during the Carter Recession relearned the crafts. Now.....during this current Great Recession, yet another generation is taking up the sword...I mean the knitting needles. Everything old is new yet again.

I've started scanning the clippings,craft books from my collection. Scanning some of the sketches from my own designs that I've kept forever. First of all to have better organization and access to the patterns and ideas. However, the main reason is that some of those older magazines have become fragile and are literally falling apart.

Really dated ideas that just SCREAM 60's hippie stuff.

Others are just interesting (to me anyway) because they are ideas, colors, techniques potential for other projects.

And some things are just timeless.

I'm making this one for myself now.

Monday, September 05, 2011

House Cleaning Music

Today when I was rocking around the house,, dusting and messing around in the kitchen, it struck me that there are just some songs and music that make the work go faster and make it FUN.

Tell me you can't work faster when you listen to this.

Rock on!!

I think I'll make a clean the house CD....turn up the bass and crank up the volume.

Anything Robert Palmer.

Ace of Base.

Nothing like that pulsing beat to keep you motivated.

Hot CHA!!

What's on your "working it out" CD?

Catching Up

Wow. Long time no post.

Has it really been 8 months since I retired? Time has just zipped by. People keep asking me if I'm bored or miss my work. Like I said in my Every Day is Saturday post.....are they NUTS? No way. I have more to do than ever and the bonus is that it is things that I want to do.

Having worked since the age of 15 and with the exception of a few months of maternity leave 33 years ago and a 5 month stretch of unemployment, when the government regulated my job out of existence, I have worked straight through for 47 years. 47 years of working for other people and for myself. 47 years of structuring my life around other people's work schedule, other people's demands and trying to squeeze in the fun things, recreation and the necessary household chores that keep the house from crumbling around you into big dust bunny piles.

So to recap....what have I been doing and what has been happening in the last 8 months in no particular order

1.This one IS the most important however. I became a grandmother to the most adorable, gorgeous, smart,talented etc etc grandson. I've been able to see him once. But now that my daughter and family are moving back to the Bay Area....I will be able to visit more often.

2. Yes. We did get a refrigerator. And we are keeping the little fridge on the deck for beer and wine.

3. Started knitting again and made a pair of nice wool socks to wear around the house. I plan to make many more pairs for myself and for the Dumbplumber so that when winter comes our feet won't have popcicle toes. Also some hats for a dear friend who is going to have chemo treatments soon and will be hairless.

4. BIG PROJECT!! Went through my craft magazines and clippings that I have been collecting since the early 1960's. Organized them by publisher and by date and put them into containers that can be stood upright on the shelving in my personal (not work) office. Now in the process of scanning the projects that I want to start on and categorizing by type. Knitting: hats, scarves, sweaters. Sewing: toys, aprons, decorative. Weaving. etc etc etc. This is a project for the winter months.

5. Gardening. This is something I rarely had time for and this year I was able to really utilize the raised beds and realized that the deer are eating up all of my hard work. It is WAR!! Oh YEAH its on. Next year......a fence around the garden. Maybe something like THIS.....
Ok....dream on.

6. Speaking of office. When I closed my financial planning practice, we transfered all of the furniture upstairs into my husband's, and now my office, for his business. In addition to all of the fun stuff, I am also the bookkeeper, record clerk, ordering clerk, banker and bill collector.

Part of office set up before decorating.

Our next goal for the office is to find a neat art deco style buffet to turn into a wet bar where we can display our collection of crystal decanters and have a cocktail at the end of the day.

Cooking, organizing recipes (another collection years in the making), canning fruit, sewing aprons, making stuffed toys, cleaning. I know, most of those things sound like work and not all that much fun, especially the cleaning, but when you have never been able to really get to is satisfying to accomplish that closet cleaning and pruning that hasn't been done for years.

SO much to to. SO much fun. Everyday seems like Saturday.

Retirement IS everything it was cracked up to be.